Reflections on Master Teacher Training
It is one week since the Master teacher training course finished. My life is back to normal and I’ve started my new journey with a new practice routine—2 days intermediate, 2 days advanced and 2 days master syllabus. I was initially worried how the reduction from five days practise of the master syllabus to two days might affect me, however through the combination of all levels of practice I found, surprisingly, that I was able to do the master syllabus with ease. I am so happy that I participated in the Master Teacher Training Course and I am excited at the new possibilities that it has presented, too. This experience is totally different to what I expected and is unlike other teacher training courses I have participated in before. Before I forget this feeling, I would like to write it down.
During the course I woke up every day at 3 a.m. and went to the school. From 5:45 a.m., we practised 4 hours of intensive asanas practice, then studied philosophy and anatomy until 4 p.m., after which I would and come back home, cook dinner for my family and go to bed around 8 to 8:30 p.m. This was my routine.
During the first week, I felt like my brain stopped working and I couldn’t think properly. I didn’t feel hungry, either, but I felt great and I was satisfied every day. I didn’t know what happened and what this meant, at that time.
Now that I think back to the course, I have come to realise something—I attempted 72 new master postures I had never done in my life. They were such challenging and intensive postures, including many arm balances and unbelievable backbends. They were so hard that I just resigned myself and did them without thinking. After asana practice I felt great, but I couldn’t think properly. I realised that this feeling reminded me of my childhood. As a child, I played and played without any fear or worry—I just went ahead and did it. Everything was new and challenging. Like a baby starting to crawl or walk, I just did it without blame or complaint. I experienced the world through my body and, at the end of the day, I would get tired and sleep like a log. Upon becoming an adult, though, I live in a daily routine and don’t experience the monumental challenges that babies do. This means that I have time to think, even though I don’t need to think. When kids play, mum calls them in to eat, but they’re too engaged to care about food. When we become adults, we eat even when we don’t need to eat. Sometimes we eat to fill our mind. I realised that I was exactly like a kid, during the course. It was a great feeling. I hadn’t realised that I was thinking too much in my daily life. During this course, I was just me—not a mum, wife, Japanese person, yoga teacher, 53 year-old female etc. …I was simply a child.
I came to realise that I categorised myself and was limiting my possibilities. I lived within the safety net of routines without exposing myself to bigger challenges. Throughout this course, I learned to create freedom in both my mind and body. We don’t have limits, if we don’t limit ourselves.
There was one more thing I learned from this course. Two weeks before the course, I hurt my sacroiliac joints. Then, during the course, I went on to hurt my ribs. Yes, life is suffering, but I mastered the idea that I should enjoy suffering in order to overcome it. Whatever happens, I should stay calm and do whatever I can do.
I would like to remember this precious experience and use the wisdom of yoga from the Master Teacher Training course into my normal life.
Despite my best efforts, I don’t know how to express my gratitude to Nicky and James using just words. The best I can manage is to say thank you from the bottom of my heart for encouraging, supporting, teaching, leading me and sharing everything all of the time. I truly believe that I am the luckiest person to encounter yoga, to be taught by great teachers, for the good friends I have made and for my supportive family.